Mander, Alison and Danaher, Patrick Alan (2007) Meaning-making from the practice of personal pedagogies: the cases of Australian secondary teachers and english teachers of travellers. In: 3rd International Conference on Pedagogies and Learning, 27-28 Sep 2007, Brisbane, Australia.
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The notion of personal pedagogies highlights the enduring centrality to educational outcomes of teachers’ philosophical and professional subjectivities. Those subjectivities help to frame and inform the teachers' practice-based actions and to contextualise and underpin the meanings that they make from that practice. This paper illustrates this argument by reference to two groups of teachers: secondary school teachers in Australia; and teachers of Travellers (mobile communities such as circus and fairground people and Gypsy Travellers) in England. The qualitative, naturalistic and interpretivist analysis maps multiple meaning-making trajectories as the selected teachers articulate their engagements with widely ranging pressures and possibilities related to their personal pedagogical practice. In particular, the paper compares within and across the two contexts clusters of trajectories around three crucial reference points: entering the current field of educational practice; personal pedagogies that make sense in that field; and observations on the field vis-à-vis the broader educational arena in which their students and they are located. These reference points encapsulate both potential stressors in their practice and possible dilutions of and solutions to those stressors. More broadly, the authors argue that researching personal pedagogies such as those examined in the paper is vital if the project of rescuing teachers’ work from continuing deprofessionalisation and managerialism is to endure and if the meaning-making from the practice of those pedagogies is to be enabling and transformative rather than constraining and self-defeating.
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